Popular Pagan Holidays
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Autumn: The Croning Time
Daily Goddess Awareness
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever
The Dark Half of the Year
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
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Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
The Beltaine Storm
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Yule and the New Year
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
Lughnasadh: The Deeper Meaning
A Celtic View of Samhain
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Childrenís Story
Witches Lost in Halloween
Samhain and the 'Witch Questions'
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
The Best Thing About Death
A Summer Solstice Primer
Imbolc...or As The Wheel Turns
A Story For Autumn
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
The Samhain Experience
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
Imbolc Musings: We're All Broken
The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening
Mabon..Balance and Reflection
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
At Samhain, Meet Bilť, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
The Blood is in the Land
Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom
Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World
Yules Lessons from Days of Yore: Perfect Love, Perfect Trust
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest
The Call of the Crone
Sandy Was The Name Of the Dark Goddess This Samhain
Opening to the Anima Mundi Ė The Gift of the Equinox
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American
The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice
The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane's Fire
Back to Basics: Imbolc
The Lover's Flame-Beltane
Parting the Veils of Beltane's Quickening
Ode to Ostara
Gaia's Mantle:The Greening of the Earth
Beltane and Samhain: Reflections of Life and Death
The Maiden's Breath: The Vernal Equinox
The Light of the Harvest: Lammas
Flashbrewing: Traditional Yule Ginger Beer/Ale
Ole Old-As-The-Hills (A Yule Story)
Anthesteria, the Hellenic "Samhain"
The Hermit's Light: Celebrating the Autumnal Equinox
The Gift of Yule: An Illuminated Wheel
The Quickening Wheel: Imbolc
Observations for a MidSummer's Eve
Mother's Flowering-The Summer Solstice
Are Holiday Decorations and Spending A Cloak for Guilt?
The Meeting at the Crossroads-Samhain
Reconsidering a Historical Eostre
A Samhain Selfie
New Years' Resolutions for Witches
Holiday: All ...
We Want them Back! (A Pagan View of the Holidays)
Turning The Wheel By Choice
Holiday: beltaine ...
Beltane -- Holiday Details and History
You Call it May Day, We Call it Beltane
Beltane -- Enlightening Links
Beltaine - Our May Morn
Beltane: Return To Feeling
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Are Holiday Decorations and Spending A Cloak for Guilt?
Article ID: 11259
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Rhiannon Keneally
Posted: November 26th. 2006
Times Viewed: 2,645
When I see decorations for Yule well before Samhain, Iím always frustrated because each year the stores push harder and harder for your hard earned money when itís not necessary. Each year we spend millions on decorations, cards, and other useless stuff that we have out for a week or two, then put away in storage or throw out until next year.
Donít get me wrong though. I love the holidays with the crisp bite in the wind, the leaves turning colors and falling, and, of course, the snow. I just would like to see appropriate decorations for the holidays.
Itís not only the really early decorations that bother me either. What about the actual holidays? People tend to forget the true meaning behind these holidays. Each year you run like crazy in the overcrowded stores and malls trying to find the ďperfect giftĒ.
Why find the ďperfect giftĒ? The holidays arenít for spending money that many of us donít have and spend years paying back the credit card companies. Its about love and family and friendship. Right?
I mean, children are told that the true meaning of Yule (Christmas to others) is not in the gifts that we give, itís the family and love we have. It sounds like something a child would believe, but, as adults, we need to remember itís not a corny kidsí belief. We canít forget it in the holiday rush by trying to find that ďperfect giftĒ. It shouldnít be about the gift, but the thought and the giving.
What about the other holidays? Yule may be one of the most thought of and expensive holidays (with buying presents and candy and decorations and making food), but what about the other holidays that everyone, including many Pagans, forget? There are other important holidays too. Most, however, are forgotten in the rush to remember to give someone else the most expensive or biggest or shiniest gift.
Even Iím guilty of making Yule lists and purchases long before the actual holiday. Does that mean I, or anyone else, should forget all the other holidays or let them slid by in favor of the ďbiggerĒ one?
I think that there are too many important holidays other than Yule to forget. Each one comes once a year, just like Yule, and each has its own importance and purpose.
Samhain, the Esbat closest to Yule, is supposed to be the Pagansí new yearís day. Ostara, the Esbat after Yule, is Spring, telling us that Winter is over and that the planting season, and the light, has returned.
There are many other holidays, some high and others minor, but each one has a different importance from one Pagan to the next. For me, Samhain is more important than Yule. Perhaps itís because I was born in the autumn and thatís my favorite season, but Samhain might not be as important to the next Pagan or Witch. It might be Mabon or Beltane.
While we do all this shopping, remembering, or forgetting, where in this picture do the God and Goddess fit in? We remember everyone else in the family and people from the workplace or in school, but what about our spiritual end? Where does the God or Goddess fit in? Do we forget them in the rush and just add them to the list of people to buy presents for?
Can we even buy presents for the God and Goddess? Not to offend anyone, but Iím sure they wouldnít mind. Itís the thought that counts, right? If we do give them something material, how would they receive it? Can we even give them something physical to remember them?
I think this material purchasing for the God and Goddess to remember them is more for people to alleviate their guilty consciences for not celebrating their chosen path or for thinking that the God and Goddess donít hear them and want something to impress them so that they do get noticed.
Iím sure itís nice to buy something new for the altar or special corner for them, but do we really need to buy anything? Iím sure they can see us just fine and understand us without new ritual tools or fancy spells and what we really mean or want.
Even if you do the fancy rituals with lots of people in a coven, do your intentions get forgotten with the large number of people? Even if you arenít the leader of the coven or a priest or priestess, do you really think that the God and Goddess donít know anything about whatís in your heart because you arenít as important or high-ranking as the leaders? It is the thought that counts, not the presentation.
The point Iím trying to make with all of this is do we really need the new toys or knick-knacks or TVs that relatives and friends give us each year? Do we need all of the fancy decorations that we purchase only to be put away for eleven months out of the year? Do we forget the other holidays in favor of Yule? Do the God and Goddess hear us even if we feel unimportant?
I donít think we need all of this fancy food and decorations and the big, shiny, brand-new-out-of-the-box gifts. Sure, itís nice to see family and some of the stuff you receive may be thoughtful and useful, but what about the true meaning of the holidays? We just donít need all that stuff. This stuff is only to prove whoís got a bigger flat screen TV for Yule or whoís got the best holiday decorations in the neighborhood. Itís all material goods that donít matter to the God or Goddess or anyone.
Itís all an excuse for us to buy something for someone because we donít see or think of him or her during the rest of the year. Itís nice to be remembered, but I donít think we need to go overboard with it. Just pick up the phone or send an email Ė we have the technology to get in touch with anyone if we try.
As for remembering the God and Goddess, it would be convenient for us to send an email or text message, but thatís not reality. A small prayer or just sitting for five minutes outside thinking of them is enough.
We donít need the fancy tools and prayers to be heard.
Location: Worcester, Massachusetts
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